Popcorn is one of my favorite foods. So when I was looking for a quick and easy last minute gift to make for friends I immediately though of Caramel Corn. Delicious sugar covered popcorn baked with peanuts is a perfect holiday treat.
Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks because it is whole grain and nutritious. Of course covering popcorn in caramel does make it less healthy! But once in a while it is fun to indulge, and Caramel Corn is an old fashioned comfort food. And it is more fun to make Caramel Corn than to brave the traffic and head out looking for a last minute gift!
Making the Caramel Corn is not difficult. The most important thing is to make sure that you have all the ingredients ready to go before you start, because once the caramel is ready you need to mix it all together quickly before it hardens. If you have a candy thermometer you can time the caramel exactly, and remove it from the burner when it reaches 250 degrees. I couldn’t find my candy thermometer, so I just did it by time and it worked fine. Slow baking the caramel corn helps give it a deeper flavor, and keeps the candy coating well distributed.
- 1 package microwave popcorn, 3 1/2 oz. size yielding 10 cups
- 6 Tablespoon butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 2 Tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to make clean up easier.
- Pop the popcorn. Sort through it after it is popped to get rid of unpopped kernels.
- Mix together the butter, brown sugar,corn syrup, water and salt.
- Heat the mixture slowly until the butter has completely melted. Then raise the temperature to medium high and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- Continue to stir for 4-5 minutes while the mixture simmers.
- Remove the pan from the burner and quickly stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
- Pour the caramel over the popcorn in the bowl. Stir in the peanuts and mix thoroughly.
- Spread the mixture onto the rimmed baking pan and bake for about an hour, stirring three times during the hour.
- Let it cool and put into decorative bags.
Nutrition facts are estimates.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 580Saturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 468mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 2gSugar: 69gProtein: 7g
What treats are you giving this holiday season?